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What’s at Stake in the Caucasus?

1,409 words

Well, it has finally happened. After years of saber-rattling, Armenia and Azerbaijan have gone to war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a self-governing area formally within Azerbaijan, but with an Armenian majority population. The great powers of the world as well as the regional powers are, of course, getting involved. Both Turkey and Iran border the region, as well as Russia, while you can be sure that America is somehow involved in this unpleasantness. There’s an opportunity to understand the nature of conflicts here.

On its face, this is an ethnic conflict between Armenians and Azeris, waged by the Armenian and Azerbaijani states. Smartasses might insist that it is a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. Great Game enthusiasts will call this a proxy conflict between the American empire and its Russian counterpart. At the broadest level of analysis, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is yet another theater of the age-old conflict between Indo-Aryans and Altaics. What if they’re all right?

I look at an ethnic map of the Caucasus side by side with topographical and political maps. I overlay them and I see something that strategy game enthusiasts call border gore. This is an unfortunate relic of Soviet/Romanov/Ottoman/Byzantine/Sassanid/Roman/Parthian/Seleucid/Argaead/Achaemenid rule, under which empires would mix and match ethnic groups in order to keep them squabbling among each other and facilitate control. The Caucasus looks like the Balkans before the ethnic cleansing and indeed, many places in the Balkans still have the same hodgepodge of religious and ethnic exclaves, enclaves, pockets, and cul-de-sacs as the Caucasus. If there ever was an area in need of ethnic cleansing, it’s the Caucasus.

Ethnic cleansing is an ugly word. It is an ugly word because it describes ugly acts. It can be done with minimal bloodshed, but even at its least violent, it entails uprooting at gunpoint entire families from where they’ve lived for many generations, confiscating their land with or without compensation (what’s the fair market value of grandpa’s grave?) and then escorting them to a strange land they may have never seen before, where they may be (rightfully) seen as outsiders, where it will take them generations to regain their standing and wealth. And what do you do with the old woman who categorically refuses to leave her home, even in the face of men with guns? Yes, it can be done peacefully, but an old woman shot and thrown face down in a ditch for refusing to move is within the realm of possibilities whenever we discuss ethnic cleansing. And yet it is necessary if we are to have homogenous, stable homelands.

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Nagorno-Karabakh is a majority Armenian region under the nominal political control of Azerbaijan. One of these two factors must be changed in order to ensure its stability. The first option is for Azerbaijan to cede the region to Armenia. The second option is for the Azeris to ethnically cleanse the Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. Pride doesn’t allow the first option, whereas I doubt the regime in Baku has the stomach for ethnic cleansing. I doubt anyone in power today has the stomach for explicit ethnic cleansing. The last successful ethnic cleansing operation was Operation Storm in 1994, when the Croatian army uprooted between 150,000 and 200,000 Serbs from Krajina, a region of Croatia with a significant Serb population. The man who ordered it, the President of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, had been in poor health since sometime in the late 70s. While I have very little evidence for this claim, I remain of the opinion that Operation Storm was the decision of a dying man to eat the sin of ethnic cleansing for the good of his nation.

Now on to the religious dimension. At its surface, it’s Christian Armenians vs. Muslim Azerbaijanis. Pretty clear, right? Well, I’m sorry to report that the conflict is more complicated than that. Supporting Azerbaijan is Muslim Turkey and ahem. . . Christian America. Supporting Armenia are Christian Russia and Muslim Iran. Wait, what? It’s even more complicated when you add on the various sectarian differences. Eastern (non-Chalcedonian) Armenia, supported by Orthodox Russia and Shia Iran vs. Shia Azerbaijan, supported by Sunni Turkey and Protestant America. What gives? This doesn’t appear to be the open and shut case the counterjihad people want me to believe it is. Who’re the Bad Guys™ and who are the Good Guys™ here? And why is America, which is the sword of counterjihad, supporting the Muslim side of the war? It’s almost as if religion matters on the ground, but not in the greater scheme of things. Yes, Armenians can gin up fighting spirit and international support among Christian (especially Orthodox) nations by framing this conflict as a crusade, and they wouldn’t be wrong, but at the higher levels, they’re breaking bread with Muslims (Iran) and countries which tolerate Muslims (Russia). Maybe the religious factor is superseded by something more permanent, something deeper.

Moving on to the geopolitical filter, things make more sense. It’s as straight an example of a Russo-American proxy conflict as you can find. American-aligned Azerbaijan, supported by American-aligned Turkey attacks Russian-aligned Armenia, which buys and sells weapons from Russo-Chinese aligned Iran, thereby causing a conflict in Russia’s Near Abroad (a Russian strategic conceptual area covering countries mostly from the former Soviet Union). The alliances are pretty clear, and the friend-enemy distinction is for once not in dispute, at least concerning the players on the ground.

These alliances also map the linguistic and racial makeup of the parties. We have Indo-Aryan Armenia, supported by Indo-Aryan Iran and Russia, while Turkic Azerbaijan gets the support of Turkic-speaking Turkey and Semite-controlled America. But who are our guys?

I won’t get into the whole thing of debating whether Armenians are white or not. In the words of Jared Taylor, they look huwite to me. Now, behaviorally speaking, there’s a bit of the Semite in them, though that may be just an effect of having been a diaspora population for so long. As Orwell put it, trust a snake before a Jew, trust a Jew before a Greek, but never trust an Armenian. In any case, I see them as white-adjacent. If, say, a son of mine wanted to marry an Armenian woman, I wouldn’t oppose it, unless we’re talking about a member of the Kardashian family. As for the Azeris, they are nonwhite both cladistically and behaviorally. But what does this mean for us?

This conflict is waged to protect the ethnic interests of Armenians and Azeris. It is also waged to promote the interests of the Russian and American empires, as well as to promulgate the religions of the respective nations and empires. The question the dissident rightist must pose to himself is, are any of those interests my interests? Are any of those interests allied to the interests of our people, our movement, and our creed? Does the protection or promotion of those interests directly or indirectly serve white wellbeing, or the program of the Dissident Right?

Unfortunately, I bear no answers. Even though we are a global movement, we must focus our efforts locally, because that’s the bulk of where the work has to be done. I know the position I’ll take, personally, I know the position my friends and allies in Macedonia ought to (and likely will) take. But I can’t answer these questions for you. Rather, I wrote this article to have you think about your position with regard to this conflict. Maybe we should support the Armenians. Maybe we should not get involved. If you’re Russian, Armenian interests are for the time being allied with Russian interests, insofar as the interests of the Russian state are aligned with the interests of ethnic Russians. The same goes if you are an American. Yes, the American state is served by an Azerbaijani victory, but are you? And what about us in Europe, what about those of us who are Orthodox Christians?

While you may reach a different conclusion, I can only repeat that old Polish proverb: Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

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  1. dalai_lama_trapeze
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Is the US actually supporting Turkey & Azerbaijan in this conflict? My sense is that Turkey is (or should be) a pariah state at the moment that even America shuns. Plus, isn’t the Armenian lobby pretty influential in both USA and France?

    Overall, a good article. Nice to have the Balkan viewpoint on the Caucasus.

    • Posted September 30, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know about the moment, but the Azeris are using American and Israeli weapons. Plus, without American diplomatic cover, Russia would be barging into Azerbaijan.

  2. Bookai
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Some interesting friends Mr Pashinyan made
    Engaging commentary as usual, although I’d like to throw in my two cents worth. İlham Əliyev is a more independent politician than he’s given credit for. While it’s true that he has been cavorting with the Empire for some time now, it’s also worth noting that those relations have soured a bit in recent years. Conversely the Imperial-Armenian (alongside the Israeli-Armenian to the chagrin of Iran) relations have been in a steady rise since 2018 which is an important factor in analyzing the caucasian puzzle. It’s no coincidence that Russia has been irked by american bio-labs in Armenia, which spawned the 2019 agreement between two countries.
    If we add the turkish factor and recent developments in Russia-Turkey-USA triangle, we can see that things get a bit more complicated. If anything, those clashes may serve to jeopardize the realtions between Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan (with which the Russian Federation cooperates at economic level), especially the improvements made between the two former countries. The RF is bound with Armenia by ODKB (CSTO) and thus will provide basic military assistance, but they hardly wish to destroy their diplomatic prospects in the region by bleeding for Karabakh.
    Azerbaijan tries to estabilish its own, independent position in the region but won’t likely risk aggravating its important business partner while Iran will cautiosly monitor Azeri-Israeli cooperation while watching for potential separatism in their own Southern Azerbaijan.

    All in all, there is little for ordinary folks to root for. War that arose from ethnic pride can be framed as a holy crusade, but has very little in common with actual one. It’s advisable to sit this one out and watch the far-away tribals as they duke it out once again. Whether we admire the beauty of armenian khachkars and get angry at Azeris demolishing them in Nakhchivan, or see Armenians as caucasian jews, their issues have little to do with manicheian clashes between races/civilizations. “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy”- as Mr Jeelvy has kindly pointed out.

  3. SRP
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    These non-Western ethno-religious conflicts make my head spin. Thank you for trying to sort this one out.

    The U.S. has for generations supported stalemate and “balance-of-power”, both of which are guarantees of perpetual conflict. This policy has been due to “our” stated advocacy of “democracy” and “human rights”, neither of which can happen under conflict.

    G. Washington had it right: no foreign entanglements. Which means: we should not be boo-hoo trying to save yellow, red, black and brown from “dictatorship”. Let people get the government they deserve. The cure is the disease. That goes for Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan. Think of all that the West has lost in pursuing this policy. The authors of this policy are the ancestors of todays Left.

    Peace happens when one side wins. If we intervene at all, it should be to facilitate that end.

  4. Average guy
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Azeris are nonwhite? I beg to differ. Armenians are huwhite? There are Armenians and then there are Armenians.

    I know many Azeris both in Azerbaijan and contiguous regions of Iran and they’re pretty damn white. In fact, whiter than Armenians in many cases.

    Frankly, they’re both a mixed bag: some are fair and some are very Jewish looking. Check out the Jewish face of Khachaturian. How about the Jewish face of Qarayev, the Azeri pupil of Shostakovich? Regardless, both are delightful composers.

    As far as the ethnic groups discussed above, there are scads of Greeks, Italians, and Iberians who resemble them.

    One last tidbit. I’m currently reading Mencken and he wrote an essay praising Turks and making the same negative commentary as Orwell quoted above concerning Armenians. In short, the Armenians brought their “genocide” on themselves by their wily shenanigans against the Turkish state. I think Alfred Rosenberg made a negative commentary about Armenians as well.

    I accept these attacks as valid, but I also say that Armenians are a highly musical people. Their contributions to music and folk music are wonderful and I will pay top dollar to watch them folk dance… even though they act, and many times look, so Jewish.

    • dalai_lama_trapeze
      Posted October 1, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      See “Militarism and the Indo-Europeanizing of Europe” by Robert Drews for the theory that the Mycenaeans came from Armenia. An earlier work by Drews is heavily cited by Duchesne in “Uniqueness.”

  5. Mike Ricci
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Who cares! This is another war that has absolutely nothing to do with White Americans, or even most Europeans. I personally have no strong feelings one way or the other about either side, but the Caucasus will always be an unstable region with little influence on the rest of the world.

    However, there is a small possibility of the US stupidly getting involved if the war drags on and Biden is in the White House.

  6. Petronius
    Posted September 30, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    So, what would you do? Shoot the old woman?

    • Alexandra O.
      Posted October 1, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I’d give her a nice sleeping tablet in a cup of tea that I would offer her while sitting down to talk with her. Then, I’d load her into the cart carrying the rest of the family and wave them off. That’s idealism, Christian altruism, and White decency speaking. In war time, who knows.

    • Posted October 2, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      If my nation’s survival depended on it? Yes.

  7. Antidote
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Where are the British? Where is British diplomacy when it is so clearly needed?—especially in the Great Game area? Can anybody say partition? Can anybody say population exchange? Well, okay the region is heading for either bloodbath or partition and bloodbath. Take your pick.
    Clearly both nations have large sectors of folks who although are not huWhite are at least obviously caucasoid (and that’s good enough for me), but Azerbaijan is majority Turkic and beyond the Pale. My money is on the Armenians because the language is Indo-European, the faith was the first state established Christian Church, I love the music, and I used to buy chicken kebabs and baklava at the street festivals.

  8. George Michael
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I assume the ZOG controlled US military will be taking a brief pause from promoting anal marriage rights in the third world to crush the Christian Armenians very shortly

  9. Dennis
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    As usual, US backs the wrong side.

  10. 12AX7
    Posted October 2, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Most likely the U.S. Government will ultimately side with the Armenians because there are many wealthy Armenians in the U.S, they are organized into an ethnic lobby and therefore, able to bribe Congress. There is no corresponding Azeri lobby in the U.S. with money to bribe Congress so U.S. imperial policy be damned, Congress will follow the money. The best policy for the U.S. Government to follow (and therefore, also, the least likely) would be to do nothing, to stay out of it, to issue pious pleadings for a peaceful settlement: think of the children, we’re all God’s creation, etc.

    The national interests of the U.S.A., such as staying out of wars, not squandering national treasure in foreign lands, not getting U.S. troops killed etc. have no bearing on the decisions ultimately made. The squalid ‘bidness’ of democracy is based upon bribery and extortion, both requiring large sums. Those without the money to buy and sell politicians like cheap whores can write letters to their congressmen and vote in the next election. Those who have money to spend will get on with the ‘bidness’ of democracy and carry around the politicians in their back pockets like little pieces of lint.

  11. inq
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Are the war participants and their allied interests all crypto-jews ?
    Or are the Azerbaijani side true Muslims ?

    Iran has been ruled by crypto-jews (Komnene dynasty and related) since almost forever. The latest rulers: Pahlavis, Khomeini, Ahmadinejad, Rouhani, Khamenei.
    Does it matter that Iran is a muslim country ?
    Many of these rulers’ family members originated from historical Azerbaijan or Armenia. They were also intermixed with Byzantine rulers, and later extended their aristocratic connections with Russia which became the destination for many after collapse of Byzantium.

  12. Sincere Eastern European
    Posted October 10, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Just be honest about your real views here as you are on your twitter. Pretty obvious that you don’t mind ethnic russian and their lapdog aggression against Balts, Ukrainians, Caucasus people and so on. In fact, you openly endorse mocking their struggle. Why do alt-righters chose the opposite of what is true in geopolitics?

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